Konkababy follows the rhythms of artists such as Fela Kuti, Aimé Césaire, and Zim Ngqawana through “the poorly lit paradise” of the Atlantic world. Divining both the mundane and the spectacular, these poems feel their way through a net of bewildered visions and sudden ecstasies towards an elusive new world that flashes just beyond the horizon.
Spree MacDonald's collection reveals a truly innovative voice in contemporary US-global poetry—a waking-shuffling-dream book of surrealist visions drawn more from anticolonial tendencies than the oft-imitated Eurocentric canon, as lived through urban experience in the terror zones of economic and ecological collapse. Whiteness interrogates itself in the cracked mirror of colony collapse, as transcultural dirges echo through the New Orleans night, asking if we can still "believe in the Nother World/even if it doesn't believe in me". These poems are a testament to that belief, as MacDonald's poetry sings the "slip cyst vision/translucent blues" into a world of ever increasing darkness.
—David Buuck, editor, Tripwire: a journal of poetics
In this poetry map, Spree MacDonald cuts back and forth between time and cartographies populated by mythical, mythological, and modern cultural and political icons—Fanon, Fela, Toussaint, John Brown, Sycorax, Atlantis, Cesaire, Ngqawana, Matigari, Guevara, Octavia Butler, Picasso, and others—who have had massive impact on past and contemporary global culture and thinking. At once painful and hopeful, the voices and images invoked in this collection take us through a suspenseful journey to spaces from where the poet’s beautiful soul stirs our own minds, as readers, to retrieve necessary memory from the abyss of history. Deftly written, Konkababy is haunting and enchanting.
—Ghirmai Negash, Professor of English & Postcolonial Literatures, Ohio University
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SPREE MACDONALD lives with his family in Albuquerque where he is a high school principal. Among other past lives, he has been a university instructor, drywaller, building painter, high school teacher, marina worker, tutor, fruit packer, grocery stocker, snow shoveler, cherry picker, and a teacher trainer in rural South Africa. He is the author of the poetry chapbook, Milksop Codicil (Slapering Hol Press), which won the Sanger-Stewart Chapbook Competition.